Andrew leads our Operational Team and is our expert when it comes to all the ins and outs of car hire excess insurance.
What's happening to Driving Licences?
As part of the government's "Red Tape Challenge", the DVLA are abolishing the paper counterpart of photocard licences.
The counterpart licence holds information that couldn't fit onto the photocard licence such as driving penalties and provisional vehicle entitlements. This information has been transferred online and after the switch over date of 8th June 2015 any future driving penalties will only be recorded online.
This part of the system is up and running and you can view your own driving licence details online at https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence. However, rather than making life easier for motorists the change may actually add red tape to the car hire process...
I have an old style paper licence rather than a photocard licence, does this affect me?
Yes it will. As with photocard licences, after the 8th June 2015 all endorsements will be recorded online rather than on your paper licence so what's written on your old paper licence may be out of date..
How does this affect car hire?
Car hire companies ask you to bring the paper counterpart of your licence in order to check for any endorsements which may invalidate your hire. Without the counterpart they can't verify your licence.
The DVLA are developing a new web service called "Share Driving Licence". This works as a two stage process.
The first stage is for you to log on using your driving licence number, national insurance number and postcode and generate a one-time passcode which can be passed to the hire company. You will also be able to print off the passcode and a summary of your driving history - probably a wise move especially in the first months of transition.
The second stage is for the hire company to retrieve your driving history by entering the last 8 digits of your driving licence and the passcode which you supply to them.
We understand that the one-time passcode is only valid for 72 hours (though this might change) so it's another thing that you have to remember to do just before departure. Or you can do it at the desk with your smartphone if you can remember the website address, don't mind the data roaming charges, can remember your national insurance number and are impervious to the long queue developing behind you.
Unfortunately, the "Share Driving Licence" site is not yet live, though you can watch the following demonstration video from the DVLA.
The DVLA are a little vague on the launch date saying it will be available after the election and before the deadline date of 8th June 2015. We certainly hope so.